Iron and Wine – Walking Far From Home

Dear Dia—music review site, what’s bothering me today? Well, for starters, I’m a 29 year-old man who maintains a public-facing confessional in order to soothe my swollen brain. But beyond that, let’s deal with this here Giraffe! And by “Giraffe!” I mean “EP!”
Which isn’t really correct, because this is more of an old-timey single with a shiny, catchy A-side, and two lesser tracks as B-sides, neither of which were the iTunes bonus tracks on the album, those jerks.
“Walking Far From Home” is a fantastic song, and I don’t even care if you tell me negative-sounding things about it that are true, like “it’s just a cool vocal melody” because it’s it’s a cool as FUCK vocal melody. Not putting a pause in the middle of your lines and irregularly repeating a few words is so basic. And I don’t care if you say “it might as well be an extended last verse of ‘It’s A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’ with extra biblical allusions” because it’s true that it’s a list of “I saw a”-s, said images are pretty and evocative, like “I saw sickness, blooming fruit trees” or “I saw a prisoner take a gun / And say ‘join me in song, join me in song.'” And if you say “it doesn’t make me feel much of anything” you’re wrong, because the central sentiment of walking far from home should make you feel on its own. And I don’t care if you say “nothing happens in the last minute” because you need that last minute to calm down from the greatness of the previous four. QED, haterz.
B-side the first is “Summer In Savannah” and the second is “Biting Your Tail” and I don’t know why the second gets more love than the first on the interwebs, SIS (as I call it colloquially) isn’t particularly memorable melodically but has a Synchronicity-era Police vibe, and in what was missing from the album is actually about earthbound and understandishable topics. Summer in Savannah, where it’s really hot, and childhoods are confusing, and the world’s a subway subway! “We trapped a hornet in a teacup for fun / We cut off his head but still got stung / I think Jesus said you reap what you sow”? Yes, please! BYT (also short for ‘Bitty Young Thing’) is equally meh musically, relying on a cheesy drum machine for percussion, but lyrically is a wish for an unnamed subject to live a happy life accepting of it’s many mysteries and blah blah. I think people just like it because they wish The Beamer was singing about them, as he tickled them by rubbing his beard delicately into their stomachs. Not that it’s a bad song or anything.
I’m starting to feel a bit better for some reason this hour, but basically for the last two days I haven’t had energy to do anything other than sleep too late and waste my life. I’ve kept up on going to the gym, but when I get there I only have energy to go on the elliptical and go back home. I feel heavy in my stomach, and I’m convinced I’m going to end up in a gutter, alone and destitute and crazy, in five to ten years. I mean, objectively, I’m a mentally ill unemployed guy. How can it possibly be okay to not be okay? The last few months have been frustrating, because for a change I got my shit together enough to seek help like a responsible person, and guess what? Nobody wants to see me, because my issues are weird! Hurray! Unemployment? Totally my fault, obviously, but some days the combination of things makes it tough to get out of bed, and yes I know it’s my fault. But gosh darn tootin’ I am applying for things, but nothing’s come of the last couple months, and I desperately want to avoid going back to the temp mill and working for barely more than minimum wage, surrounded (generally) by public servants who hate their own unions and don’t realize that without them they’d be in my position. But without work my mental health degrades much more rapidly. For example, tonight, April 17, 2014, was the night that I, a 29 year-old man, poured boiling water on my arm because I was mad at myself for not wanting to be around people (and mad at my girlfriend for telling me that I need to suck it up and be around people anyway). When I type it out I feel even worse, but I suppose the truth is supposed to set me free. But the only place it makes me feel like being is alone with a lot of drugs until I am rightfully evicted. And I’m sober right now. I’m exercising restraint and this is still what an idiot I am. God, what an idiot.
And now it’s the next morning, and my first thought when I wake up (after yet another night of not getting to sleep until hours after I went to bed, which is torture) is “I want to kill myself.” Then my second is “I wish I had a job, so that I had anything to think about other than wanting to kill myself.” Which is nice in that at least I don’t want to be a leech on society, but not exactly conducive to the kind of positive pavement-pounding that finding a job requires. I haven’t had a drink in days…why? I quit smoking…why? To live longer? Why would I do that when I hate being alive? Now I’m on the verge of tears, alone in front of my computer. And I’m a 29 year-old man. Almost 30, and I’m basically still a whining teenager. But the feelings and pain never went away, and I’m going to end up like my suicidal mother. My life holds joy at times, but there’s so much more pain and sadness and whining whining whining, so why am I doing this? Well, I kind of know why – because I’m scared of pain, and I don’t want to hurt the thankfully reducing number of people who care about me, and because somewhere in me is someone who’d be sad if the little joyful things were replaced by forever blackness. But it’s seeming more and more like a logical decision. People around me will move on, just like they would if I moved to Belize for the rest of my life.

7 / 10